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Updated: 9 hours 15 min ago

NASA's Fermi discovers the most extreme blazars yet

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 10:47pm
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has identified the farthest gamma-ray blazars, a type of galaxy whose intense emissions are powered by supersized black holes. Light from the most distant object began its journey to us when the universe was 1.4 billion years old, or nearly 10 percent of its present age.

NASA's Fermi sees gamma rays from 'hidden' solar flares

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 10:47pm
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has observed high-energy light from solar eruptions located on the far side of the sun -- light it shouldn't be able to see.

Both push and pull drive our galaxy's race through space

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 11:09am
What is propelling the Milky Way's race through space? By 3-D mapping the flow of galaxies through space, researchers found that the Milky Way galaxy is speeding away from a large, previously unidentified region of low density.

NASA studies cosmic radiation to protect high-altitude travelers

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 11:29am
NASA scientists studying high-altitude radiation recently published new results on the effects of cosmic radiation in our atmosphere to help improve real-time radiation monitoring for aviation industry crew and passengers.

Cosmic lenses support finding on faster than expected expansion of the universe

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 1:26pm
By using galaxies as giant gravitational lenses, an international group of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have made an independent measurement of how fast the universe is expanding. The newly measured expansion rate for the local Universe is consistent with earlier findings. These are, however, in intriguing disagreement with measurements of the early universe. This hints at a fundamental problem at the very heart of our understanding of the cosmos.

New space weather model helps simulate magnetic structure of solar storms

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 11:36am
A new model is mapping out the path of coronal mass ejections as they travel from the sun to Earth, where these storms can interact with our planet's magnetic fields and cause a variety of space weather effects.

Bursts of methane may have warmed early Mars

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 2:08pm
The presence of water on ancient Mars is a paradox. There's plenty of geographical evidence that rivers periodically flowed across the planet's surface yet Mars should have been too cold to support liquid water at that time. Now, researchers suggest that early Mars may have been warmed intermittently by a powerful greenhouse effect. They found interactions between methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the early Martian atmosphere may have created warm periods when the planet could support liquid water on the surface.

Micro spacecraft investigates cometary water mystery

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 11:16am
In September 2015, a team of astronomers successfully observed the entire hydrogen coma of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, using the LAICA telescope onboard the PROCYON spacecraft. They also succeeded in obtaining the absolute rate of water discharge from the comet. Through our observations, we were able to test the coma models for the comet for the first time. This result is the first scientific achievement by a micro spacecraft for deep space exploration.

Astronomers find seven dwarf-galaxy groups, the building blocks of massive galaxies

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 1:36pm
A team of astronomers has discovered seven distinct groups of dwarf galaxies with just the right starting conditions to eventually merge and form larger galaxies, including spiral galaxies like the Milky Way.

Experiment resolves mystery about wind flows on Jupiter

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 11:52am
A team of geophysicists has recreated Jupiter's jets in the laboratory for the first time and shown that they likely extend thousands of kilometers below Jupiter's visible atmosphere.

Can the donut-shaped magnet 'CAPPuccino submarine' hunt for dark matter?

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 9:06am
Scientists have clarified that toroidal magnets can also look for axions, one of the particle candidates for the mysterious dark matter.

Astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 4:15pm
Astronomers have located the habitable zone, the region where water could exist on the surface of a planet, on the Wolf 1061, a planetary system that's 14 light years away.

Deep-space mission to metal asteroid

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 12:41pm
Scientists are planning to send a deep-space probe to a metal asteroid, enabling them to see what is believed to be a planetary core. Psyche, an asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter, is made almost entirely of nickel-iron metal.

A tale of two pulsars' tails: Plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 1:57pm
Like cosmic lighthouses sweeping the universe with bursts of energy, pulsars have fascinated and baffled astronomers since they were first discovered 50 years ago. In two studies, international teams of astronomers suggest that recent images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of two pulsars -- Geminga and B0355+54 -- may help shine a light on the distinctive emission signatures of pulsars, as well as their often perplexing geometry.

The sun in detail: Contorted center of sunspot nearly twice the size of Earth

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:18am
New images have revealed otherwise invisible details of our Sun, including a new view of the dark, contorted center of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth. The images are the first ever made of the Sun with a facility where ESO is a partner. The results are an important expansion of the range of observations that can be used to probe the physics of our nearest star.

Astrophysicists discover dimming of binary star

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 4:11pm
A team astrophysicists has observed the unexplained fading of an interacting binary star, one of the first discoveries using the Sarah L. Krizmanich Telescope.

Galaxy murder mystery

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 4:06pm
It’s the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what’s killing them?

Presumed young star turns out to be a galactic senior citizen

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 9:20am
49 Lib, a relatively bright star in the southern sky, is twelve billion years old rather than just 2.3 billion. For many decades, researchers were stumped by conflicting data pertaining to this celestial body, because they had estimated it as much younger than it really is. Determining its age anew, astronomers have now successfully resolved all inconsistencies.

Hubble gazes into a black hole of puzzling lightness

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 3:54pm
The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is known as RX J1140.1+0307, a galaxy in the Virgo constellation imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and it presents an interesting puzzle. At first glance, this galaxy appears to be a normal spiral galaxy, much like the Milky Way.

Understanding blended galaxies

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 2:33pm
Galaxies are merging all the time, even our own galaxy, the Milky Way. But how these mergers occur isn't entirely clear. An American astrophysicist will use a National Science Foundation grant to find and characterize supermassive black holes associated with merging galaxies.